Insights from a Brain Training Study on Tinnitus

In the January 19th issue of JAMA-Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, a research team from Washington University (St. Louis) School of Medicine reported interesting outcomes from a brain training strategy that appeared to help a significant proportion of individuals living with severe tinnitus.1 The nature of these benefits—and other outcomes from this carefully conducted trial—are provocative…

Are Crime and Incarceration Predictable and Preventable?

As an alumnus, I recently read an article published in the Johns Hopkins Magazine written about a part-time faculty member in their distinguished Bloomberg School or Public health, Gerald Eber.  Eber is also an ACLU lawyer whose primary concern has been the health care of Americans in prison.  The medical treatment of prisoners, in Eber’s…

Chris Borland Chooses Brain Health Over NFL Career

A few days ago, a young linebacker on the San Francisco 49ers, clearly destined to be a star player in the National Football League, hung up his cleats. Chris Borland, a highly honored University of Wisconsin player who had had a wonderful rookie NFL season, decided that the risks for his brain health were just…

Acetylcholine Release Amps Up Brain’s Plasticity

I met yesterday with a former doctoral student, now a professor at the University of Texas in Dallas, Michael Kilgard. As a research fellow in my UCSF laboratory, Dr. Kilgard studied the conditions under which acetycholine enables brain plasticity—showing among other findings that large scale and highly useful plasticity can be achieved by pairing sensory…